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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 July, 2005, 13:37 GMT 14:37 UK
Wales remembers WWII sacrifices
Prince Charles laid a commemorative wreath during the service

Special events to mark 60 years since the end of World War II have taken place across Wales.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall attended a service at Cardiff's Coopers Field, which followed a veterans' parade.

The Wales Remembers tribute linked up with other UK-wide events as part of a national day of commemoration.

Parades and services have also been held at places including Bangor, Wrexham, Colwyn Bay and Holyhead.

Cardiff's parade, led by the band of the Royal Welsh Regiment, included veterans from the Navy, Army, RAF, Merchant Navy and Home Front workers.

Rhodri Morgan, Prince Charles, Duchess of Cornwall and Peter Hain

There was also a youth division with cadets, scouts, guides and schools, as well as a selection of period military vehicles.

Among the veterans at the service was 81-year-old Joy Poulson, from Pentyrch, Cardiff, who had been part of the Special Operations Executive.

She said: "We were doing communications with the French underground - a lot of people died. I shall probably cry, I usually do at these things."

Fellow veteran Edward Ashfield, 82, said: "I want to keep an eye out to see if I can recognise anyone wearing our ties because it's always nice to have a chat."

The service at Coopers Field was conducted by the Reverend Aled Edwards, and included a reading by First Minister Rhodri Morgan.

Prince Charles
Prince Charles met veterans after the service

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall met Mr Morgan before the service began, along with Welsh Secretary Peter Hain and Cardiff council's leader, Rodney Berman.

A wreath was laid and there was a fly-past by six RAF Hawks.

Afterwards, the Royal couple spent more than 20 minutes talking to veterans about the commemoration and their experiences.

In the afternoon, Katherine Jenkins and Aled Jones performed at a special concert, alongside harpist Catrin Finch and the Jeff Hooper Big Band. Exhibitions and 1940s displays are also being staged.

Speaking to the BBC Wales news website after the service, Mr Morgan said it was "difficult to get a balance between commemoration and celebration" but said the service had been excellent.

There were thousands of people at the service

"We were really worried about having it outdoors as we thought it might rain, but the opposite is true and the ambulance service have dealt with a few cases of heatstroke," he said.

He added that the attacks on London this week had added to "the meaning and the solemnity of the occcasion".

"It puts people in a mood of wanting to come - the same values are under threat today as were threatened by Nazism."

Dr Berman said: "Thousands of people across Wales lost their lives during WWII.

"It is a fitting way to recognise the debt we owe and to show our gratitude to the men and women who made so many sacrifices during World War II to protect the freedom we all enjoy today."

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